Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Beautiful Game

Ok, so exciting news in our house, the twins have started an after school club.  It's great.  An honour usually only reserved for the big kids, they are now allowed to spend an hour after school every Tuesday doing "Multiskills", which is a new way of saying extra P.E.

This week was their second week of going and, as they ran out to me in the playground afterwards, I noticed DS3 was clutching yet another letter from school.  "It's about football", "Can I go?  I am going to go", he said resolutely.  "OK, let me look when we get home, and we'll decide", I said (quietly wondering how much the school were planning to fleece me for now).

To my delight I discovered that this would be a free event Praise the Lord.  The caveat to that, it was for BOYS ONLY.

As I read the letter and the words slipped out of my mouth DD2 yelled "What?  Girls can do football!"

She has a point there.

In fact, she is quite good at kicking a football.  Better than her twin.

So, Everton FC, what the hell are you playing at?

You have a Women's team, they are good from what I've heard, and yet, no similar events are being held for young girls to be scouted for your football academy.

In a time where we are being told that #thisgirlcan and Women's football is featuring in regular programming on the television and even has its own league tables you are sending a message to girls everywhere that they are not really welcome unless they are on the sidelines watching their brothers.

Women's football has gained popularity lately, but matches are still no where near as well attended as Men's football is.  Do you know why?  Perhaps it's because youngsters like my daughter and her female classmates are simply not included at your events.  They are not equal.  These children are only five years old.  This age is where their interest in football should start, not where it should stop.

I have wrongly assumed that "fun" events like the one you have organised would be open to every child.  Maybe if they were, more girls would be encouraged to try out football as a sport.  Maybe they would enjoy it and maybe you would also spot some genuine talent?

Look at your own website here:

Sons only *sigh*

It seems that your message is clear.  So why bother even having a Women's team then?

I am a mum of girl/boy twins.

They do everything together.  But it seems that they can't do this.  

Not because one of them is unable to play football but because one of them happens to be a girl.

I am exasperated I'll admit, but have you ever tried reasoning this argument with a five year old?  I have and it isn't easy.

Football may be the beautiful game, loved by many, but it sure as anything isn't an inclusive game at Everton FC.

Needless to say if one of my children isn't welcome at your event then neither of them will be attending.

Nil satis nisi optimum - nothing but the best is good enough.  Just as long as the best happens to have a penis, eh?


  1. Well said, especially the ending. I am surprised by Everton considering they have a great women's team did they forget #Thisgirlcan

    1. Thank Lorraine. I am especially proud of the ending - what a stupid club motto to have if they don't really mean it.

  2. Well said mate, Everton needs to pull their finger out! Such gender discrimination from the age of 5! Shocking x

    1. Thanks - it makes me so sad. There is nothing for girls around here and optimistically I did think that this might have been different, oh well...

  3. That has got to be against the Equality Act, and if it isn't why the hell do we have it.
    I'm disgusted, actually. Especially the locations for taking part and allowing it. Sign up your girls with boys names and take them along I say!

    1. It is tempting! I can't see how allowing both girls and boys would harm their talent scouting anyway!

  4. I will have you know that back in 1999 I was crowned part of the national girls football team - we beat teams from all over the country to win the title. We then went to a prestigious evening where all the teams from the county who had won stuff attended to be beaten by a boys cricket team who were just county champions. There was definitely discrimination as we were county and NATIONAL champions but the bigwigs didn't see it fit to award GIRLS playing football. It was a real eye opener and sadly it seems in the last 16 years it hasn't changed xx

    1. This is so sad Beth. Nothing ever changes does it? :(

  5. My DD (7) is an avid player and I can honestly say that at grass roots level I have never encountered this prejudice. Mixed teams are permissible up to U14 under FA rules. And I believe at this young an age it is preferable for children to play in mixed teams.
    She has just trialled locally for a few teams- one was girls only- and she has decided to stick to a mixed team.
    Shame on Everton FC for not following the brilliant example set by the amateur game.
    If you feel so inclined check out my blog for my recent article on my daughter's football playing exploits).

    1. Thanks for commenting. I was aware of the FA rules regarding mixed teams which is why it is so frustrating that Everton don't appear to want to comment on why they have taken this stance. Well done to your daughter - I'll have a look at your blog too :)


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